Car tires are a problem. Their contruction has to be Super strong to cope with the demands of years of wear and tear and they have to be soft to grip the road and deal with bumps. Its an unusual combination that turns that problem into a opportunity. Strong and soft materials are perfect for a playground where you have children racing from one thing to the next with little care for their own safety. As a result car tires have been used for years in playgrounds and we at Playgroundideas couldnt do our work without them.
Here are 10 (actually 11) great examples of playgrounds doing creative and amazing things with cartires….
Playgroundideas (formerly called GoPlay) worked with architecture for humanity on a playground design competition For a site in Thailand. and although it didn’t win (on the grounds that we had no idea how to build it) it is a beautiful and eye catching design.
David werner from Disability Information resources has created a bunch of very simple but innovative ways of using car tires to support children in their play. His work leave no excuse for anyone to leave any child with a disability to the side when creating a play space.
Around 3000 tires were used to create an incredible car tire playground in Tokyo, Japan. There are dinosaurs, robots and other elements designed by the builders but for all that trouble I think the main attraction of this space is the sheer number of loose tires that children can roll, build, stack and create with themselves that is the true attraction. I would not suggest creating a playground like this in an area with risk of mosquito born diseases without carefully drilling many drainage holes in each side of every tire.
I am not sure where the first tire dragon appeared but there are now quite a few sleeping in parks around the world. They are easy to build and their fierce giant jaws are bound to strike up some fantasy in a childs mind. thanks to robinzeggs from Flicker for this image.
Of course Playground Ideas has created some Playgrounds using hundreds of tires which no one would ever see unless I publish them here. This one is from 2008 in Thailand, near the central Thai- Burma Border. Many of these Playground designs can be found on the website www.playgroundideas.org.
In July 2010 we recently completed a playground with the Salvation Army school there which had some great tire elements including a giant maze and some fantastic swing sets.
Patapsco Valley State Park Tire Playground is another great example of a super fun space that kids just love. I can find many examples of this so thanks to the sellers family for making their pictures of their day at the park public.
Ok, so this is not exaclty a playground but it would make a great element in a playground. Using nylon tires that are easily cut this artist has created some amazing pieces of artwork that would fill a child with wonder. thanks to http://listsoplenty.com/pix/recycled-tire-art-like-you-have-never-seen-before
Some of the best playgrounds in the world i think are adventure playgrounds and these all use lots of tires. An adventure playground is essentially a playground made from low cost recycled materials, but what really sets it apart is the fact that children can be a part of building it with hammer nails, saws etc. All Adventure playgrounds are supervised. http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/contentdisplay.aspx?id=8656
and here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/darell-hammond/playgrounds_b_1452620.html
Learning Landscapes http://www.projecthdesign.org/ are a tire based outdoor learning tool that doubles as a playground at lunchtime. So simple and easy to build and learning landscapes offers resources and curriculum for teachers to use as well. http://www.afritecture.org/tag/school
And number 10 features some amazing work by Asbjørn Flemmen. He is a hard man to find on the Web but Svane frode has a great Facebook gallery of his work with giant tires and huge swinging ropes which were his trademark it seems. Thanks Svane for sharing http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.237478936314023.58571.100001557546378&type=1some more pictures here: http://www.karmoyped.no/lek/eng/teksteng.htm
If you are wanting to build a Playground out of tires why not check out the many many open source car tire designs, and whole playground blueprints and plans here: http://beta.playgroundideas.org/DesignLibrary.
If you do something amazing, dont forget that you can add your design and your project to our site to share with others and even find funding.